GLR Spotlight is an interview series featuring Matchmakers, Dating Coaches & Relationship Experts
Global Love Report – January 13, 2021
Interviewed by Derry Rasyid
About Julia McCurley
Julia is a Certified Matchmaker as deemed by the internationally recognized Matchmaking Institute and a CEO of premier matchmaking services, Something More. After a successful career in the world of high tech recruiting and business development, she realized those skills could be easily transferred to the exciting world of matchmaking. She has helped over a thousand Austin singles on their journey to finding love. Find out more about Julia in our exclusive interview with her below!
GLR: Hi Julia! Please tell us a bit more about yourself!
JM: I am a Certified Matchmaker and CEO of Something More which I founded in 2009 in Austin TX. In my former career, I was in the IT staffing and recruiting space. The skillsets I developed there are perfectly suited to matchmaking! I have helped over a thousand singles in Austin on their journey to finding love and happiness. I personally have hand-curated over three thousand first dates!
GLR: What inspired you to pursue a career helping singles find love?
JM: I’ve been a Matchmaker my whole life! I’ve always done it as a hobby for friends and family and then officially got a business card in July 2009. I truly believe that single people deserve something more than spending hours swiping, going to bars, hoping their forever plus one will bump into their cart at the grocery store, etc. I even named my company ‘Something More’ because of my passion to help singles achieve their relationship goals.
GLR: When were you certified and how was it like when you first started to launch your business?
JM: I became certified in 2009. I went to the conference in NYC and met some amazing people who mentored me and helped me along the way to get to where I’m at today. When I started my matchmaking business a lot of people were skeptical because online dating was so popular at that time but I just knew there was a market of people who prefer a personalized service with an expert, just like how you would outsource in other industries.
GLR: Do you have any unique stories about working in this industry?
JM: YES! I have tons of stories and my tell-all book will be coming out after I retire from the business! I have interviewed over three thousand singles and just when I think I’ve heard it all, someone tells me something I would never guess about them or some unusual/unique quality they are looking for!
I have had so many wonderful clients and all of them have made an impact on me. Some of the more memorable ones include a couple who each had 4 kids from their previous relationships and have now created the most amazing blended family – I still hear from them regularly, and they continue to amaze and inspire me!
I have also had the privilege of working with several clients with physical challenges who feared that their situation might have them in a place where they could never find love. For clients who were blind, autistic, or suffered from Cerebral Palsy, helping them achieve their relationship hopes has also been very gratifying.
GLR: What’s something completely new that you have tried and that has helped to pivot your business?
JM: I realized that:
- I am my unique selling proposition and that people will pay extra to work directly with me. So about 5 years ago, I revamped my pricing and started charging a premium and that has turned out to be our most popular package.
- Developed a new sales presentation book that clearly demonstrates the value of hiring a matchmaker. My book outlines standard operating procedures, what specific services they will receive, how I determine compatibility, on-boarding process, and timeline of events. I highly recommend that all Matchmakers document everything that they do for clients, you will be amazed at how labor-intensive our jobs really are, even just scheduling a date for a client is like 8 steps!
GLR: How do you handle challenges and what’s your mindset to overcome them?
JM: I talk to my Matchmaking Colleagues to vent! There are pretty much the same challenges for all of us, people being too picky, people not taking our advice, people not following date rules, I always say matchmaking is like herding cats!
GLR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten that has helped you in your career in the Dating Industry?
JM: To have confidence in myself and my ability to help people, and never doubt, even when the client situations are challenging and difficult. At this point, I rarely face a challenge with a client that I haven’t faced before, and trusting my experience to help them is a big plus.
GLR: Do you have any words of encouragement or reminders for existing Matchmakers/Dating Coaches & newcomers?
JM: You can’t be all things to all people. If you don’t have potential matches for the potential client before they come on board, be honest with them. It’s better to have fewer clients and only take on the ones you can truly help. Trust me, you will have less stress and better job satisfaction.
GLR: Would you be able to share with us some of your personal & work best practices?
JM: Create a running list of 5-10 potential matches when a client first comes on board so that you aren’t starting over every time to find them a match.
Be organized! Keep a whiteboard of client activity that you update daily (Who needs a match, who’s had a match, dates to schedule, dates scheduled, etc)
Keep your clients happy. I have found the best way to do this is to set expectations upfront and tailor your communications approaches each client like how often do they want to hear from you, how do they want the profile presented, do they want to text, phone call, or email
Be detailed and make sure that every piece of information is correct on the profile, has proper grammar and spelling. The profile is your product and Clients will notice any mistakes. This may sound obvious but clients may think that if you can’t spell, then how are you qualified to find them, love, seriously.
GLR: Thanks, Julia! Last question – How do you feel about collaboration within the community?
JM: Because I have a local business model strictly in Austin, there is not a lot of opportunities to collaborate here because I am the only Matchmaker in town! However, I do collaborate with Houston and Dallas Matchmakers on occasion.